One of the fundamental principles of fire prevention in buildings is based on compartmentalisation. The aim of this principle is to slow down the spread of fire to adjacent spaces. Openings and service penetrations through walls constitute a weak point inĀ  compartmentalisation. Therefore, special precautions must be taken to prevent smoke, hot gases and flames from spreading through these weak points to adjacent rooms and potentially aggravating the fire in the building.

When sealing openings such as the installation of fire-resistant gates, doors, walls and ceilings, penetrations of fluids or electricity pipes should also be fireproofed.

A compartment ensures that the fire is confined to a certain area, meaning that fire-resistant compartmentalisation is of great importance during a fire. The use of fire-resistant gates, doors, walls and ceilings prevents fire from spreading to surrounding spaces, but what should not be forgotten or neglected, is the fire-resistant penetration seals of liquid or electrical conduits for the correct and complete compartmentalisation of a space.

Please read the Royal Decree of 7 July 1994 laying down basic fire and explosion prevention standards with which new buildings must comply: “penetrations through walls of liquid or electrical conduits must not have any adverse effect on the required fire resistance of construction elements.”

The fire resistance of construction elements is indicated by the European REI classification. Three elements play a role here, namely: load-bearing capacity (R), integrity (E) and insulation (I).


What are the REI values for fire resistance?

A fire can spread rapidly. This can be disastrous for the chances of survival of the people that are present there. In order to increase the chance of a successful evacuation, there are standards for the fire resistance of materials. These are assessed according to the REI classification.

The REI classification says something about the fire resistance of construction materials and is composed of:
  • R = Load-bearing capacity
  • E = Integrity
  • I = Insulation

Load-bearing capacity (R)

The load-bearing capacity, i.e. the resistance or stability of the elements says something about the stability of a building element when exposed to fire. The higher the load-bearing capacity, the lower the risk of collapse and the longer the evacuation time.

Integrity (E)

By flame density, we mean the ability of a material to prevent the penetration of flames and hot gases. The higher the integrity, the lower the risk of flames to the unexposed side.

Insulation (I)

A fire involves high temperatures. Insulation measures the ability to stop the flow of heat.


Fire resistance in minutes

REI values are expressed in minutes. They are always rounded down to one of following times: 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240 or 360 minutes.

A load-bearing wall with a stability of 70 minutes, an integrity of 53 minutes and an insulation of 40 minutes will have the following values R60, E45 and I30.



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